I’ve been having so much fun on my book tour and promoting my new book, Part-Time Paleo: How To Go Paleo Without Going Crazy, but I have been insanely busy!
Being on the road is tough, especially when you leave your spouse behind who is used to you cooking and taking care of dinner. BUT, I have a secret weapon that’s so easy to use, no skills required!
You guessed it, it’s my crock-cooker! (that’s what we call them here at Saving Dinner—it’s a crock pot and slow cooker amalgamation, LOL)
And as the weather starts to cool down, one of my favorite things to come home to is a pot of simmering soup. Plus soup is a great meal that I can easily scale up or down, depending on how much or how little I want to have leftover.
Now, many people know they can use their slow cookers for soups, but if you are new to slow cooking, you might be wondering how to adapt your favorite recipes for the slow cooker.
I have a few tips for you that will help you put your slow cooker through its paces in soup making.
5 tips for making slow cooker soup
Brown the meat. One of the most overlooked steps in creating sensational slow cooker soups is browning your ingredients. Yes, the slow cooker will cook your soup just fine without you taking this step, but if you do take the time to sear your meat before putting it in the slow cooker, you’ll be happy with the rich, intensely flavored results.
Cut ingredients uniformly. Take care to cut your vegetables in similar sizes so that they cook evenly. You don’t want half of your vegetables turning to mush while some bites are still hard!
Layer properly. Place the ingredients that take longest to cook in the slow cooker first. (Hint: Root vegetables take longer to cook than meat so they should be placed on the bottom where they’ll have more direct contact with the heating element of the slow cooker.) Meats, spices and onions can also be placed on the bottom. Veggies like cauliflower and broccoli can go in next. Finally, place your liquid on top of all the veggies before covering the slow cooker and turning it on.
Watch your liquids. You won’t need as much liquid as your traditional soup recipe would call for, but just add enough to cover the veggies by about half an inch. (If you have too much liquid at the end of your cooking time, simply remove the lid of your crockpot 30 minutes before you plan to serve dinner and it will evaporate.)
Add ingredients in stages. Some ingredients don’t take much time to cook so you’ll want to add them in during the last hour of cook time. Things like pasta, dairy, peas, bell peppers and spinach would fall into this category.
Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva
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